joe mcknight

Antonio Cromartie and Nick Bellore aren't the only two-way players on the Jets. ?With Darrelle Revis out for Sunday's game and Isaiah Trufant questionable, Joe McKnight might take some snaps against the Steelers Sunday. ?The?Daily News reported that McKnight practiced at cornerback?throughout the week and that?the running back also met with defensive coaches to study the team?s defensive game plan.

McKnight of course is the Jets special teams standout and had lost out as the team's third-down back role to Bilal Powell in the preseason. ?When McKnight was recruited at the college level, some coaches wanted him to play defensive back, and ?according to Sporting News, he might have been great.

... several coaches recruiting McKnight (namely Ole Miss, according to Bruce Feldman?s book, ?Meat Market?) thought McKnight could have been a Pro Bowl cornerback if he stayed on the defensive side of the ball.
So while McKnight might have the raw skills to play corner, it's not as if he's done much of it ... so how could this work for the Jets?

Tags: Antonio Cromartie, Buzz, cornerback, Darrelle Revis, isaiah trufant, jets, joe mcknight, Links, New York Jets, News, Ny Jets, Editorial Aside, Rex Ryan, Brian Bassett
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The New York Jets are preparing themselves for their Week One opponent, the Buffalo Bills, there are plenty of soundbites from Jets players like Mike DeVito, Siona Po'uha, Stephen Hill and more.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Film Room, joe mcknight, Mike Devito, New York Jets, Video, Rex Ryan, sione pouha, Stephen Hill, Wildcat, Brian Bassett

With LaDainian Tomlinson out and Shonn Greene presently disappointing, SNY Why Guys makes a case for Joe McKnight being considered the Jets' feature back:

We do know that McKnight has elite speed and can definitely turn the corner. He also has good enough hands that the Jets have spread him out as a wideout. But the knock on him is that he can?t run inside given that he?s 5-11, 200. His durability is also a question mark. Yet he had 32 carries for 158 yards in the regular season finale where he played with the second team but against the Bills starters on defense. That shows some workhorse chops, for sure. And many of those runs were between the tackles.
The real question: is Joe McKnight the kind of back who can consistently run between the tackles? Why Guys follows up the article with a list of running backs close to McKnight in size who've had 250-plus carries in recent years. However, the fact that the top 10 players on that list are just the same three players (Tiki Barber, Chris Johnson, and Clinton Portis) undercuts their point a bit. A back at that size has to be something very special (or have a great 0-line) to get that many carries. Is McKnight that back?
Tags: joe mcknight, Main Page, News, Adam Rotter

If it's any consolation, while the offense and the defense might be spotty, one phase of the game is working consistently for the Jets: special teams. A pair of articles in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal extol the virtues of Mike Westhoff's kickoff and return teams. And for good reason. The Jets are currently at 2nd place in yards allowed per kickoff return and at 1st place in kickoff returns, averaging 33.4 yards.

In his WSJ article, Chris Herring focuses on the success of Westhoff's system, especially in the face of the recent NFL rule changes:

...[Westhoff] too has seen what appears to be the interchangeability of the team's kick returner. "I believe it shows that our system works," Westhoff said. "Unlike with punt returners, who kind of do their own thing, you get the chance to orchestrate this a little more. We get to interject a little more."

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Last season, Rex Ryan?s cutting of Danny Woodhead in favor of holding onto David Clowney and Joe McKnight seemed like a bonehead move. On the New England Patriots in 2010, Woodhead went on to rack up 926 yards and six touchdowns while Clowney received one catch in all of 2010 and McKnight only ran for 189 yards.

This year, though, McKnight is catching attention on Westhoff?s special teams unit and Ryan is defending his decision:

"Quite honestly there's a reason we kept him over Danny Woodhead," Ryan said. "Danny Woodhead is a great back, done great things for New England, but [McKnight's] ceiling is about as high as it gets, so we'll see. I think he has the chance to be a heck of a player. Might be a corner, might be whatever but he can play."
Joe already has a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown and has carried a kickoff return 107 yards to score. Special teams is usually a place for younger players to be groomed as they prepare for starting roles, and McKnight is making the most of his chance while still seeing room to grow, saying "I still have to make some plays before I get on Westhoff's good side.?

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In this week's "Four Quarters" (video link here), Mike Westhoff described the design of the game-changing punt block by Joe McKnight, and how even he was surprised by the outcome:

?I thought strategically we would have three guys on two. If we did this exactly correct, we may get that,? Westhoff said. ?I didn?t think it would necessarily be Joe. I thought the fullback would step in and take Joe, and we?d get 2-on-1 on the corner. As it turned out, they actually moved out a little bit better than I thought, although the fullback probably went further out than what they?d like him to, and Joe came clean and we blocked it.?
Tags: Interviews, joe mcknight, Main Page, mike westhoff, punt block, Adam Rotter

Amidst the flurry of cuts, Mike Salfino wonders if Joe McKnight is good enough to start for the Jets.

As evidence, Salfino offers up the 95 yards McKnight has tallied this preseason and the 158 rushing yards he had against Buffalo at the end of last season:

The list of rookie backs who notched 150 yards in a game includes the likes of Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson. Not all are Pro-Bowlers?but many of the ones on this list who seem like one-game flukes were actually players derailed by injuries.
The real question is whether or not the Buffalo game was a fluke. Granted, as Salfino points out, the Buffalo starters McKnight played against had only given up that much yardage once that season, but this was a meaningless game in which the intensity of the Buffalo defense may have been waning. It's nearly as hard to judge players on that kind of performance as it is during preseason.
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